So I just started this research assistant position at this hospital that is doing PTSD research and I personally love doing what I am doing. I get to contribute to a team that is driven to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, since I am so new to the group, my chances of getting my name in one of the publications are still pretty slim since most of the first authors are acclaimed doctors and pre med students. However, I have an opportunity to complete an honors thesis project at my university in my junior year that will guarantee me a publication in my school's honors journal if my research is thorough and I complete 3 prerequisite classes (which I have slight interest but not significant interest in) before conducting the research. I really do love the PTSD project that I am involved in and I would have to sacrifice it in junior year if I am to conduct the honors research. I do have dreams of going into a top 20 med school. My question is whether not having a publication will significantly lower my chances of getting into the top tier schools even if I have a stellar GPA, MCAT score, clinical hours, and other EC's. I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.